Tesla this week said it has finally established a data center in China.
“We have established a data center in China to localize data storage, and will continue to add more local data centers,” the company said in a Weibo post this week. “All data generated from the sales of vehicles in the Chinese mainland market will be stored in China.”
Answering China's security issues
The move comes in response to criticism from Chinese authorities. The Chinese army has reportedly voiced concerns the camera's on Telsa vehicles may be used for spying at sensitive locations and recently banned the vehicles from its complexes. The company’s cars have also been reportedly banned from compounds of other government departments in recent weeks.
Tesla's post said it was "honored to have discussions with industry experts" about new automotive data security guidelines in the country. "Car data security is very important. Tesla will make every effort to implement car data security management and ensure data security."
In April, Grace Tao, Tesla’s China head of communications and government affairs, said the company already stored local data in China in order to comply with the local cybersecurity laws. But this was presumably in a third-party facility; the company said it was now building its own data center in Shanghai, China.
“Tesla China is a company that’s based here and must abide by all Chinese laws and regulations,” Tao said in a meeting last month. “In fact, our data will be very well protected. Chinese data will be stored in China.”
It’s unclear if the data center the Weibo post is referring to is the existing facility the company was occupying or the new purpose-built one. DCD has reached out to Tesla for more information.
“If Tesla uses cars to spy in China or anywhere, we will be shut down,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk told a government forum in Beijing via a video conference in March.
In 2013 Coca-Cola came under scrutiny from the Chinese government after fears newly installed GPS trackers on its delivery trucks could be used to map sensitive locations.
Tesla’s 210-acre Chinese Gigafactory is located in Shanghai.